Initiative Part of Youth Football Celebration throughout August 28 Game vs. WashingtonThroughout the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ preseason finale versus the Washington Redskins tonight, the Buccaneers and the NFL will once again recognize USA Football as the sport’s leader in youth player development and coaching education through USA Football Month, with an emphasis on the organization’s “Heads Up Football” initiative.
The nationwide program, launched by USA Football in 2013 with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation, is dedicated to making the game safer and more enjoyable for the nearly 5,500 youth football leagues, 90,000 coaches, 750 high schools spanning all 50 states and nearly 1 million youth football players that have signed up to participate this season. USA Football Month is being saluted by teams throughout the NFL preseason as youth football leagues across the country return to play. This celebration, which takes place throughout the NFL during the month of August, salutes the nonprofit organization’s primary goal: to teach the game’s fundamentals and further instill the sport’s character-building values within the youth football community.
“Nothing is more important to USA Football and the NFL than the health and safety of every young athlete who loves this game and the friendships and values that come with playing it,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “USA Football’s work is based in education that is changing for the better how America’s favorite sport is coached coupled with player safety protocols endorsed by leading medical experts. We are proud of our partnership with the NFL and we value the continued support of USA Football Month given by the league and its teams.”
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS USA FOOTBALL MONTH CELEBRATION VS. WASHINGTON:
BUCCANEERS KIDS ZONE AT RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM
The Buccaneers will ask fans to join the movement for an active generation by bringing the Buccaneers Kids Zone to Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night. Set up adjacent to Tampa Bay Boulevard, immediately south of Raymond James Stadium, the Kids Zone will include inflatable football activities, the Glazer Family Foundation Vision Mobile, and interactive PLAY 60 drills for children to enjoy free of charge to showcase the team's commitment to the NFL PLAY 60 campaign, encouraging youth activity for at least 60 minutes a day. The Buccaneers will offer children the opportunity to participate in the Kids Zone to showcase their PLAY 60 spirit between 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., in Lot 5 (Tampa Bay Boulevard between Gates B and C), prior to kickoff.
YOUTH PARTICIPANTS RECOGNIZED DURING TEAM INTRODUCTIONS AND COIN TOSS
During team introductions, 30 participants from the Citrus Park Bills youth football team will help welcome the team to the field with Buccaneers battle flags. Following the national anthem, select individuals from the Wesley Chapel Cowboys, New Tampa Wildcats, Clearwater Junior Tornadoes, and Zephyrhills Bulldawgs will serve as Honorary Coin Toss Captains.
YOUTH FOOTBALL HALFTIME SCRIMMAGE AND FAN ENGAGEMENT
In conjunction with USA Football Month, the Wesley Chapel Cowboys, New Tampa Wildcats, Clearwater Junior Tornadoes, and Zephyrhills Bulldawgs will participate in a scrimmage during halftime. In total, the Buccaneers are distributing more than 3,000 tickets to local youth football organizations as part of the USA Football Month Celebration, including the 2014 Florida State Champion Robinson High School Girls Flag Football Team.
This year’s USA Football Month campaign is reaching Buccaneers fans during locally and nationally televised preseason games through in-stadium banners and field stencils, as well as online at Buccaneers.com, and feature the following:
- Heads Up Football helmet stickers worn by NFL players throughout the preseason
- Heads Up Football-branded on-field stencils and end zone banners in NFL stadiums
- NFL teams donating approximately 130,000 preseason game tickets to players in Heads Up Football leagues
- USA Football messages promoting better and safer play during national preseason telecasts
- Youth football scrimmages in NFL stadiums prior to or during halftime of preseason games
- USA Football-branded in-stadium scoreboard video messages
- “Heads Up Football Across America” feature stories on NFL Network and NFLEvolution.com
- NFL team-customized USA Football Month digital banner displays on every team’s website
- USA Football Month messages in NFL teams’ game programs
“This has been a year of tremendous growth for USA Football and its programs, especially Heads Up Football, which now includes all Pop Warner leagues,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “USA Football Month celebrates all of youth football – the players, the coaches, the parents, and the communities which support thousands of youth football leagues throughout the country. It doesn’t get better than this.”
Indianapolis-based USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport to establish important standards rooted in education. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. The organization advances coaching education and player skill development for safer play and a positive football experience.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host a wide variety of youth football programs throughout the year, including the Buccaneers Kids Zone, Play 60 Challenge and the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick program. These initiatives not only help children and their families enjoy the game of football, but also serve as a resource for coaches to help promote a positive experience for youth football participants. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dedicated to educating children and coaches about the National Football League and enhancing the skills of young athletes both on and off the field. For more information on the Buccaneers’ community initiatives, visit www.buccaneers.com.
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